Shinto (World Religions) Third Edition by Paula R. Hartz, ISBN-13: 978-1604131130
[PDF eBook eTextbook]
- Publisher: Chelsea House Publications; 3rd ed. edition (May 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- 144 pages
- ISBN-10: 1604131136
- ISBN-13: 978-1604131130
Developed in prehistoric times, Shinto is the true expression of what it means to be Japanese. Less a formal religious statement than a deeply ingrained way of life, the rituals, traditions and values of Shinto have both shaped and been shaped by Japanese culture. This third edition examines the basic tenets of Shinto today.
Shinto is Japan’s native religion. It developed in prehistoric times on the Japanese islands, and it is deeply etched in the minds and hearts of the Japanese people. Because of its close association with the land’s geography and history, Shinto is very nearly synonymous with the Japanese character. It has both shaped and been shaped by all of Japanese culture.
Traditionally followers of Asian religions are inclusive and tolerant of other faiths; thus people may practice more than one religious tradition at the same time. They see no inconsistency in being both Shinto and something else—usually Buddhist. Of the 128 million Japanese, according to the statistics of the Agency for Cultural Affairs for 2006, 107 million identify themselves as Shinto and 89 million identify themselves as Buddhist. In effect, then, every Japanese person is religious and the vast majority may be considered in some fashion to be followers of Shintoism. Of the others, many belong to the “New Religions,“ or the religious movements that have emerged since the 19th century, and the remainder include Christians (3 million), Muslims (120,000), and Jews (2,000).
Shinto has been closely associated with Buddhism for centuries, even sharing its temples and rituals. The Japanese have a saying, “Born Shinto, die Buddhist,” which indicates their dual reliance on these two traditions at different points in their lives.
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